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Summer Wars / The Girl Who Leapt Through Time [Blu-ray]

4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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  • Summer Wars / The Girl Who Leapt Through Time [Blu-ray]
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Product details

  • Directors: Mamoru Hosoda
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Manga Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Mar. 2011
  • Run Time: 210 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004AFUJFM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,525 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

From the visionary director of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2007 Japanese Academy Award winner, Best Animated Feature) comes the story of an ordinary family going to extraordinary lengths to avert the impending cyber apocalypse!

Kenji is your typical teenage misfit. He's good at math, bad with girls, and spends most of his time hanging out in the all-powerful, online community known as OZ. His second life is the only life he has until the girl of his dreams, Natsuki, hijacks him for a starring role as a fake fiance at her family reunion. Things only get stranger from there. A late-night email containing a cryptic mathematic riddle leads to the unleashing of a rogue AI intent on using the virtual word of OZ to destroy the real world, literarily. As Armageddon looms on the horizon, Kenji and his new family set aside their differences and band together to save the worlds they inhabit in this near-perfect blend of social satire and science fiction.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I've had chance to actually sit down and enjoy the blu-ray release of 'Summer Wars', and 'enjoy' is definitely the right word.

The story is simple enough: high school maths-geek is persuaded by girl he secretly loves to do some 'work' for her, which he discovers far too late is actually pretending to be her boyfriend/fiancé in front of her entire extended family. Cue humorous confusion/embarrassment etc., before the truth is revealed and boy is arrested for 'breaking the internet'(!) He then has to save the world (and the girl) from the AI now controlling everything. So far so normal (for anime).

But while the core concept may lack originality, the film excels in both storytelling and in the way it is populated by solid, entertaining characters. Kenji is a likeable lad who suffers from neither guilt-ridden angst or misplaced arrogance, while Natsuki, a potentially two-dimensional character (how many 'popular' girls would pay someone to pretend to be a boyfriend?) manages to join him in coming across as likeable and plausible. The whole cast comes across as ordinary people in an extraordinary situation, rising to the un-winnable challenge. And this is what has been one of the things pulled over from this team's previous film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time [DVD], along with the animation style and overall attention to detail. I would encourage anyone who has seen TGWLTT to get 'Summer Wars' without delay.

The film does genuinely live up to its name, it is light, 'summery' and features a rather strange 'war'. The more obvious CG elements are appropriate and blend well with the film as a whole, while the storytelling is handled far more effectively than with TGWLTT.
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I bought this boxset of two anime blu-ray discs on a bit of a whim since I'd heard of neither but was impressed by the favourable reviews and the quantity of awards jointly garnered by the two films. I have to say I was not disappointed.

I decided to watch them in chronological order and so first sat down to 'The Girl Who Leapt Through Time'. This was a good high school time travel romp that was very enjoyable. It did get it's plot tied up in knots here and there but in a complex time travel story that's very hard to avoid. Well worth the time spent watching it though. Probably worth 4 stars.

Summer Wars was a different kettle of fish. A very stylish looking film with some great design work. The plot was engaging and the characters entertaining. It's a cliche to say "I laughed, I cried" etc. but in this case I genuinely did. The story is by turns touching, funny, sad, sweet and really exciting in places. The director, Mamoru Hosoda, does an excellent job of moving the story along, staging some superb set piece scenes and still keeping a large cast of characters defined and interesting. Highly recommended, 5 stars.

If it was an option I would've combined the scores and given the boxset 4.5 stars overall but the rating system doesn't allow that. Suffice to say it's excellent and well worth purchasing at this price.
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Let's get the two movie reviews out of the way..... both are original and good, and not at all your average teen demolition anime, but something completely different. Both are different from one another as well.
Imbd will enlighten you some more, better than I can :)

As to the nitty gritty:

Summer wars:
English and japanese audio
English subtitles. For some unfathomable reason, those are plain yellow. Now I can see them just fine but if you're colour blind, you might be in for a world of pain.
Extras: 6 shortish interviews with the japanese cast and director, as well as trailers.

The video quality is nice and crisp; the colours are vibrant. It's well done and very nice quality.

The girl who leapt through time:
English and japanese audio
English subtitles. White with black outlines
Absolutely no extras.

This one is older and the blu-ray quality is ....not really blu-ray quality. This is a much cheaper transfer that frankly looks like a repackaged upscaled DVD (couple of blocks here and there, very little. Not so much bad quality as visibly lower resolution). If you already own the DVD, you might think twice about getting this one [unless you're OCD or possibly the DVD is VHS quality]
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Right now director Mamoru Hosoda (MH) is the rising star in the anime industry. Sure, there's room for a lot of other writers, directors, producers, artists and musicians, but, as of this moment, there's no one out there who's got it together as crisply or as sweetly. In the space of three films, the two covered in this review and the even more recent, Wolf Children, MH is the go to guy for when you want a slice of pure Nipponese narrative culture.

So, what is it that makes the man's works such an enjoyable experience? Well, from my purely subjective viewpoint, it's that MH has an absolute grasp when it comes to storytelling. The man understands the beats within a script in a manner which other directors have seldom ever managed. If I were to compare him to an American or European director it would probably be Howard Hawks. Like Hawks, MH knows exactly how ring all that is available to him out of any given tale and if that means letting a scene play out in a way which, at first (and occasionally second, third and fourth) sight would appear to be clichéd and, sometimes, it is clichéd, but it isn't wrong.

The first of these two features, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (TGWLTT) is from a series of short novels by Yasutaka Tsutsui which were published between November 1965 and May 1966. The film diverges somewhat from these volumes and could be seen as a loose sequel to the original stories. Certainly the time frame is updated.

The protagonist, Makoto Konno is a seventeen year old girl who to her shock discovers that she has the gained the ability to, as the title tells us, Leap Through Time. Initially she has a blast, using her power to enjoy petty pleasures and these sequences are both beautiful and deeply ironic.
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